Detail from one of the Emperor of China tapestries in the Wernher Collection

Highlights of the Wernher Collection

The collection of fine and decorative art on display at Ranger’s House was put together in the late 19th century by Sir Julius Wernher, a businessman who made his fortune from dealing in South African gold and diamonds. It represents one of the most extraordinary collections of medieval and early modern European art to have been made by one person.

Explore some of the highlights of the collection below.

More than 700 works of art from Wernher’s varied collection are displayed at Ranger’s House today. They range from exquisite ivory carvings, Limoges enamels and Renaissance jewellery to Italian bronzes, colourful pottery and 18th-century porcelain. Not only are many of these pieces unique examples of their kind, but the stories they tell – of how they were made, where they travelled to, and the way they were used – reveal much about how the material culture of Europe was continually changed and shaped over hundreds of years.

All objects are reproduced courtesy of the Trustees of the Wernher Foundation.

'step into englands story